What would you do? Staging a new production for Universal Hollywood's Castle Theater
Written by Robert Niles
Theme Park Insider reader Manny Barron reports today on the Discussion Board that Universal Studios Hollywood has now closed the Backdraft and Special Effects Stages attractions, to make room for the construction of the park's new Transformers ride, which will debut in 2012. (Another installations of Transformers will debut at Universal Studios Singapore next year.)Tweet
Backdraft - a fire effects show based on the 1991 Ron Howard film - is gone for good. But Special Effects Stages will reappear later this summer, in a different form, in the park's Castle Theater. For folks who've visited Universal in Florida, but not California, the just-closed Special Effects Stages included elements Florida visitors might have seen in USF's Horror Make-up Show, as well as the old Xena/Murder She Wrote shows.
I took a look at Backdraft and Special Effects Stages last summer, before plans for the upcoming King Kong encounter pushed back Transformers a year, allowing the two shows to stay open a few more months.
I've questions whether or not Universal needs a show like Special Effects Stages, since DVD extras now have "pulled back the curtain" on filmmaking techniques for millions of home viewers. Ultimately, I think there's still great entertainment value in seeing Foley and make-up effects happen live in front of you, instead of on a screen, but I'm interested in hearing what you think.
Universal's Castle Theater has hosted several productions over the past few years, none of which has caught on with audiences to the point where Universal felt the need to keep it around. The Conan the Barbarian show enjoyed a long run in the 1980s, followed by Beetlejuice' Graveyard Revue in the 1990s. But since then, the theater's hosted Spider-Man Rocks, Fear Factor Live and, for last summer, the panned-by-everyone-but-me Creature From The Black Lagoon: The Musical.
So... this brings us to this week's "What Would You Do?" Would you put Special Effects Stages into the Castle Theater? Or should something else go into this Upper Lot venue?
Given the continuing popularity of Florida's Horror Make-up Show, should that show come to Hollywood in its entirety, instead of Special Effects Stages?
Beetlejuice still draws fans in Florida, too. If Disneyland can revive Captain EO, perhaps Universal Studios Hollywood could bring back Beetlejuice, as well?
Universal's hottest property right now is, of course, Harry Potter. But the Wizarding World is only coming to Universal Orlando. If Universal could swing the rights (and that's a HUGE if, I know), wouldn't it be nice to get at least a taste of Potter's world in a Castle Theater show? The theater itself could be made to look like a Hogwarts classroom without many structural changes.
So what would you do? What would you like to see in USH's Castle Theater - an option that would keep you coming back to the park (and the show) for years?
We'll vote in a poll, then please pitch your best idea in the comments.
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